NAIROBI, July 11 – Kenya Premier League champions Tusker take on Simba SC of Tanzania in the opening match of this year’s East and Central Africa Club Cup in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.,
The brewers arrived in the Tanzanian city in the wee hours of Friday and Coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee will be hoping that the fatigue would be over by match time.
‘It will definitely be a tough match especially on our side considering that Simba will be at home and will have home support to boot,” said Mulee adding, “If we can get a draw from Simba then we can approach the rest of the matches with more confidence.”
Tusker will start with Joseph Rutto in goal with the back manned by Ibrahim Shikanda, John Njoroge, David Shikokoti and Humphrey Okoti, all with a lot of experience at the international level.
Hesbon Nandwa and Geoff Oyando will be in midfield while the attack will compose of Hassan Aden, John Kioo, Dan Matengo and Simon Mburu.
Simba will rely on their sensational Nigerian import, Emeeh Izuchukwu to inspire them to victory.
The young Nigerian is part of a partnership programme between Simba and Enyimba of Nigeria and is expected to lead the assault when the ‘Msimbazi boys’ go in search of a win.
Izuchukwu arrived in Tanzania recently and scored the lone goal when Simba beat Uganda’s Express in a friendly match last week.
He has just been joined by compatriot Orji Obbina whose participation in the tournament was still hanging in the balance yesterday as he was yet to finalise his transfer from Enyimba.
Also struggling to beat the deadline is international Haruna Moshi who wants to rejoin Simba from Muscat.
Former Kenyan international Edwin Mkenya will be facing familiar opponents when he stands in the Simba defence against his compatriots.
Goalkeeper Amani Simba, recently transferred from Police of Morogoro has quickly fitted into the shoes of Juma Kaseja, who has moved on to rivals Yanga and will be keeping the posts Saturday.
The other teams in this Group A are Vital’O of Burundi and Benadir from Somalia. Rwanda President Paul Kagame has sponsored the team to the tune of US$60,000 in prize money.